UK Versions of Shows vs. US Versions of Shows

  1. I don't know why, but I started talking about this very thing at a family barbecue.

    The Office, Queer as Folk and Coupling were shows in the UK before US versions were done.

    In the US, why was The Office and Queer As Folk so popular and Coupling was so abyssmal?

    I think it was because with The Office (NBC) and Queer As Folk (Showtime), the studios took the concepts of the UK shows and went with them, rather than trying to recreate them.

    With Coupling, NBC's problem was they tried to remake the show with an American cast. It didn't work. Some of the last names were changed - Jeff Murdock became Jeff Clancy Susan Walker became Susan Freeman and Jane Christie became Jane Honda, but the script was identical to that of the British version.

    For those people used to the UK version (me) Richard Coyle is always going to be Jeff Murdock.

    The Sock Gap and The Giggle Loop are concepts belonging to Jeff Murdock and nobody else, so it was odd to see Jeff Clancy trying to explain them.

    The characters belong to the British cast and the script is performed in English accents so it was odd (and not as funny) to see an American cast trying to play them and saying the lines in American accents.

    For people unfamiliar with the UK series, it was a comedy that people didn't 'get.'

    I'm actually glad Coupling US wasn't picked up. I like the Secret Club feeling when I meet another American who loves Coupling UK. ("YOU like Coupling? Oh, my God! I like Coupling!")
  2. I heard the reason QAF failed in the UK had to do with the fact that the creator (Russel Davies I think) didn't feel like there was much more of a story to tell after the 10 episodes, so he decided to just cut it short. Other than that, it was apparently a really huge success. I think the UK version is completely fabulous; it's a good show either way and I gotta love the American version for its Toronto connection, but I liked the tone, the acting, and the overall story a lot more in the UK version. Don't even get me started on how better some of the characters are in the UK version...I can't stand Michael, but I think Vince is very well done, and I cringe every time Debbie comes on screen.

    Anyway, I think the reason the US version did so well despite its flaws had a lot to do with how it was a one of a kind type show. There was nothing really like it on television before, so it peaked people's interest.
  3. I loved the UK version of "Coupling" - actually own all the DVDs. When I saw the US version, I immediately hated it for some reason...kind of like how I disliked the US version of "the Office" (which has now grown on me). If I remember correctly, the US version of Coupling got pulled pretty quickly - maybe if they gave it a chance to find it's own legs, it could have worked.